Titan Tattler: Business 40 closure to impact Career Center students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

The heavily trafficked interstate Business 40 will close from the Peters Creek Parkway exit to the U.S. 52 exit on Saturday, Nov. 17. This road funnels commuters from the western side of Forsyth County, a majority of these coming from Clemmons, in and out of Winston-Salem, and its closure is sure to cause major congestion. While the effects of this large-scale change have been discussed at great length, the impact it will have on high school students is often left out of the conversation. One group in particular will be considerably impacted: West Forsyth students who attend Career Center.

The Career Center is located near the hub of downtown Winston-Salem and is a collection of students from all high schools in Forsyth Country. Students seeking to take Advanced Placement or career and technical courses can enroll at both the Career Center and their home school, meaning a midday commute must occur. Students are allotted a travel period, often about 25-30 minutes, to reach their classes on time. I myself attend Career Center in the morning, and even with my 25-minute travel period, am habitually 10 minutes late for my third period classes. Now, with the expected closure of Business 40, that is sure to change.

Using Business 40, the travel time from West Forsyth to Career Center averages about 20 minutes. This does not include exit traffic from the respective schools. When I leave Career Center in the afternoon, so do hundreds of other students, and just getting out of the parking lot can be a jam. With the proposed no-highway route that utilizes Country Club Road, the expected travel time is approximately 30 minutes. As a result, the ability of students to arrive to class on time will be hampered, not to mention the funds needed to pay for gas will increase with the lengthened route. The portion of Business 40 that will undergo construction is not expected to reopen until 2020, so these alterations for student drivers will persist over the next two school years. If a driver has questions about route and parking information, they may contact the Career Center at 336-727-7607.